WHAT IS MEANT BY A “MYSTERY” AND BY THE “SPIRIT” OF A MYSTERY.
177 By the “mysteries” of Our Lord life we mean
the principal actions that the Son of God made man
performed and accomplished for our salvation
such as His Incarnation, Nativity, Circumcision,
Passion and Death.
We may also meditate on the mysteries of the Most Blessed
such as her Immaculate Conception, her Nativity, etc.
178 We begin by filling ourselves with the spirit of the mystery.
This can be done
either by considering what is said of it in the Gospel,
or what the Church teaches on the subject,
either by a simple view of faith,
that is, by a simple attention to the mystery
which we believe because faith teaches it to us,
or by making some reflections
on the mystery or on what the meditation says
These reflections should stir up
our devotion to this mystery
and help us to maintain ourselves in an attitude
of interior respect,
as we consider it.
179 We should join to this reverential attitude before the
mystery an interior desire of profiting by it
and of receiving the spirit, the grace and the benefits
that Our Lord Himself wishes us (to draw from it.)
180 For He performed these divine mysteries of our holy religion
not only to redeem us,
but also to instruct us
and to lead us by His example
to the practice
of the most solid and sanctifying virtues,
such as He Himself practiced
in the sacred mysteries that He accomplished;
this is what is called the spirit of these mysteries.
181 Each one of them has a spirit proper and special to itself,
because Our Lord therein practiced certain virtues
which are especially evident,
and which we observe in a special way with admiration
when we pay serious and deep attention,
Our Lord practiced these virtues
to give us an example,
and to lead us to practice them in imitation of Him,
with the help of the grace
which He merited for us,
and which is attached to the mystery
as being part of the spirit and of the act itself.
182 The spirit of the mystery of the Incarnation is charity,
since it was by charity and out of love for men
(as Our Lord Himself says),
that the eternal Father gave them His
only Son, Jn 3,16
that the Son Himself became man,
and that the Holy Spirit accomplished this
mystery. cf. Mt 1,20; C 1,35
it is also humility,
since as St. Paul says,
The Son of God annihilated Himself,
taking the form of a slave... Ph 2,7
183 The spirit of the mystery of Our Lord’s Nativity
is the spirit of childhood;
when the Son of God came into this world, Jn 1,11
as we read in Saint John’s Gospel, Ch. 1,
he gave to all those who received Him
the power to become children of God. Jn 1,12
This spirit of childhood consists
in simplicity, docility, purity, cf. Ep 6,5; 4,2; Col 3,23;3,12
and disdain for the worldly riches and
grandeur. cf. Lc 6,24-26
184 The spirit of the mystery of the Circumcision cf .Lk 2,22-24
is humility and mortification,
for Our Lord designed to take upon Himself cf. Jn 1,29
in allowing Himself to be circumcised.
the mark of a sinner,
and shed His blood in suffering and pain. cf. He 9,11-15
185 The spirit of the mystery of the Transfiguration
is the spirit of prayer and mental
prayer, cf. Lk 9,28-29
and thus with the others.
186 We may make nine acts in the second part of mental prayer,
all referring to the mystery which we are considering.
187 The first three refer to Our Lord;
the next three to ourselves;
and the last three refer:
first, to Our Lord,
second, to God,
and third, to the saints.
Thus each of these three final acts has a particular
the first has for its object Our Lord,
the second, God the Father,
and the third to the saints to whom we have a